This was the first Rainbow Rowell book I’ve read. But I’ve been hearing a lot about her recently. Similar to John Green, I feel like her books have found sudden popularity in the YA world. So with all the hype, especially surrounding Eleanor & Park, I was definitely excited to read this one.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of YA books. Well, let me explain. A book like this is not typically my first choice, but when I have read YA books I’ve really enjoyed them. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve read all the Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent series, and loved each and every one of them.
Anyway, I didn’t have SUPER high expectations for Eleanor & Park, but I did expect to enjoy it… unfortunately, I was wrong. Maybe it’s because I didn’t fall in love until I was in my 20’s, or maybe because I never had a high school relationship, or because by the time I was 18 I’d moved six times and never quite experienced a typical adolescence, but I couldn’t get invested in Eleanor and Park’s love story. To me it seemed silly, overly dramatic and unrealistic. Maybe that was intended? Maybe Rowell was making a commentary on young love and how it is all those things? If so, then I get it and I’d say I liked it. But overall I found it hard to get into the book because I couldn’t relate to the characters or their experiences. Sorry, this one just wasn’t for me.